It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Haha, not really.
By now it’s pretty much common knowledge that depression and the holidays go together like Ambien and vehicular manslaughter. And we single peeps really love to amp up the melodrama during this time.
Last week I went to a holiday party composed of a bunch of singles. We collectively sang the karaoke version of “All By Myself” with so much rigor the cops came round saying they’d received calls from neighbors swearing William Hung was being bludgeoned in the apartment.
But I’m telling you, being single during the holidays IS NOT THAT BAD. It’s actually kinda awesome in a lot of respects. I’m not just blowing sunshine up your ass.
A couple years ago I was dating a guy and had the WORST holiday. I spent $650 on a plane ticket to spend time with his family of chain-smoking, Fox News-addicted, coke-fiending Cro-Magnons and my boyfriend was a total dick. A boot fetishist, he bought me a pair of thigh-highs for Christmas (a gift for him, not me) then forbade me to wear them anywhere but the bedroom because it was “his thing.” We were not a thing for much longer. I am SO much happier to be alone this holiday than with that jerk and his whacked out friends and relatives.
Here are 11 reasons why being single for the holidays actually kinda rocks:
1. You’re in the majority
First, it is important to recognize that you are not alone in your aloneness. In fact, singletons now make up more than half of the adult population in both the U.S. and Britain. So while you may think you are the lonesome loser amid scores of happy couples, the truth is that you’re actually quite normal (despite what your Facebook feed tells you).
2. Speaking of Facebook, you can laugh at all those charlatans
When you’re single, it’s important to keep in mind that Facebook (or Instagram, or any other social network) is a ruse. While your news feed may be full of smiles and proclamations of soul mates found, you must remember that Facebook is merely an online brag board where all of the good is grossly exaggerated while the bad remains carefully hidden within the deep, dark confines of Real Life.
I have a girlfriend who calls me every other day, crying about how she and her boyfriend are constantly fighting and on the verge of a breakup. I’ll say:
“But you just posted on Facebook that you have the best boyfriend in the world?”
“Pffft, that’s Facebook,” she says. “It’s all fake.”
3. You avoid the inevitable holiday fights
During the holidays, single folks tend to view couples through eggnog goggles. They make these relationships out to be far more blissful than they actually are, because in reality, December is the most stressful time of the year for couples, with the average pair reportedly engaging in four arguments per day! This may be the reason that January is widely known as “Divorce Month” in legal circles, as more couples file for divorce during this month than any other time of the year.
The holiday hustle and bustle puts added stress on relationships, and couples invariably find themselves at war over finances, travel plans, schedules, family matters, expectations, who let the dogs out and that pesky ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who insists on calling every holiday “just to check in.”
When you’re single, no one is going to question your motives, your decision-making prowess or your desire to wear sweatpants on Christmas Eve, and you can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that there will be peace on earth this season – at least in your part of the world.
4. You don’t have to go to someone else’s crappy office party
When you’re in a relationship, you hold the unfortunate responsibility of being your significant other’s date at their company’s holiday extravaganza. What’s more, you are obliged to serve as the designated driver so your partner can “have a good time with their friends.”
You hardly know anyone so you cling to your sparkling cider, trapped in the corner with the office nerd while your not-so-better half gets shitballs drunk, sings bad karaoke with their colleagues then disappears for an hour to who the hell knows where.
You endure all this for the sake of your mate, although you’d really rather be at home in PJs watching a Seinfeld rerun for the 127th time – or at the very least, shopping online for that white elephant gift you have to bring to your office party.
When you’re single, you are only required to attend your own holiday gatherings, and when you do, you can just let your hair down and not worry about entertaining some dead weight who’s just going to give you the cold shoulder for the rest of the week.
5. You can skip the agony of buying the right gift (or receiving one that’s super lame)
Sad but true, issues related to gift-giving are the cause of many a holiday battle among couples. One person is hurt that not enough thought was put into their gift, another is upset they didn’t get specifically what they asked for. One party is bound to feel guilty while the other feels like a jackass. And if you’re still in the early stages of dating, that horrible gift-giving awkwardness is as unavoidable as bad fruitcake.
Does it all sound petty and shallow? Could be, but unlike Santa Claus, it most certainly does exist. So go ahead and roll your eyes at the absurdity of it all and be grateful you won’t be wrapped up in the unrelenting gift-giving anxiety orgy that hits most relationships around this time.
6. It’s easier on your budget
It’s no secret that the spirit (or is it the obligation?) of holiday gift-giving can wipe out your bank account like a South Pacific tsunami. When you’re in a relationship, you are oftentimes expected to proffer presents not only to your significant other, but to their parents, siblings, nieces and nephews as well. All of this can easily add up to having to choose between heat and cable come January.
With all the cash you’ll save as a singleton, it is wholly justifiable to practice a little self-love and splurge on a prezzie for yourself! Go ahead and buy that new pair of shoes or speaker set or whatever it is you really want that your significant other would probably get wrong anyway.
7. You don’t have to deal with someone else’s obnoxious family
You know your crazy family? Well, imagine having to deal with a slightly skewed yet equally annoying replica of them – and not being able to talk back. So as your lover’s parents make passive aggressive quips about your career choice while brother Eli sneezes into the candied yams, you are forced to sit there and smile like it’s all perfectly normal. It’s uncomfortable at best and completely mortifying at worst.
But when you’re single, you only have to put up with your own whacked-out relations and it’s completely acceptable to just give Uncle Jack the finger and storm off into the night – they’re your family, what are they going to do? Next week it’ll all be okay, because you know your own relatives have no choice but to accept you anyway.
8. No one will chide you when you sprout a muffin top
Everyone gains weight during the holidays. It’s just part of the deal. The season’s theme is to “eat, drink and be merry,” and the evidence lies in your midsection.
At least when you’re single, no one will see you naked except your cat, and unlike your spouse, he won’t make cruel jokes about “taking it easy on the cheese ball” or how you’d “better make good use of that gym membership next year, haha.”
Nope, you can just hide your newly acquired chunk rolls under an oversized sweater until spring and enjoy that third helping of pie with no one the wiser.
9. You’re not expected to cater to someone else’s schedule
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has all of us scurrying about like roaches when the lights come on, and the insanity is only amplified when there’s two of you. Between trying to coordinate holiday parties, travel schedules and whose family you’re going to spend Christmas with, someone’s head is bound to come undone.
When you’re flying solo, the only calendar you have to manage is your own. In fact, you are well within your right to pack your agenda with nothing but Netflix-and-mulled-wine marathons if that’s what your soul is craving. Because it’s your holiday and you can spend it however you damn well please.
10. You are master of the remote
This is an advantage of being single at any time of the year, but around the holidays, television networks deluge home viewing audiences with specialty programming that typically only half of a couple enjoys. So if you’re not into the monotonous bowl games or schmaltzy holiday parades, you don’t have to watch them! The remote control is your playground, and if you want to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on repeat, no one is going to challenge you.
11. You have the potential to kiss someone new and exciting on NYE
New Year’s is a time for fresh beginnings and possibilities and you have every opportunity to plant a sloppy one on a brand new Mr. or Ms. Right, or Wrong, or Maybe, or all of the above this evening! This is your time to let loose and get as wild as you wanna be, because everyone knows New Year’s Eve is more fun for singles. Meanwhile, your coupled friends will be forced to kiss the same old angry face that mucked up their Christmas… right before they head into Divorce Month.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against relationships and if that’s what you aspire to, that’s perfectly fine. I do, too. But as singletons, we tend to idealize relationships as the panacea to all of our troubles, when the reality is that it ain’t all sugar and spice on the other side of the fence.
So when you see a “happy” couple at the ice skating rink or holiday party – take solace in the notion that they likely engaged in a screaming match in the car on the way over. Go ahead and laugh mightily at these couples’ fake holiday mirth and sleep well whilst hogging ALL the covers in knowing that the only person you have to answer to… is you!
A version of this post originally appeared on WeLoveDates
Categories: In My Most Excellent Opinion